Tony D. Thelen

Strategic Advisor at John Deere Financial

Hello! I am currently a Strategic Advisor at John Deere Financial focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, Leadership, Professional Development, and Organizational Change.

tony d thelen headshot

About Tony

Tony D. Thelen is a lifelong learner whose career has spanned roles in manufacturing, sales, marketing, technology, strategy, and finance. Tony is a lifetime member of Trout Unlimited and currently writes from his home in West Okoboji, Iowa.

"When I started engaging leaders, the response I received was simply overwhelming. People shared the most impactful events of their lives. They shared who gave them their greatest advice about moments of truth in their careers. They revealed what truly mattered in their careers… I discovered people really wanted to tell their stories. This book contains those stories and the accumulated wisdom from over a thousand people from around the world!”

am i doing this right book

Co-Author of Am I Doing This Right?

In February of 2020 as the pandemic set in, I wondered what I could do to stay positive and constructive. I decided to write a book about all that I have learned in my career with the hopes of helping other people in their career.

As I started to write I wondered if others would tell their stories as well so I put together a brief survey and posted it on Linkedln. The response was overwhelming as hundreds of people responded. I found out people wanted to tell their stories to help others.

Matthew Mitchell, Jeffrey Kappen, and I used these surveys as a foundation over the next two years to write AM I DOING THIS RIGHT. We introduce the topics, share insights, tools, and experiences, but only when the reader translates these into meaning for their own lives do we believe the book is complete. We encourage writing in the margins, reflecting, and coming back to the book over the course of the readers career. Kind of like a journal in a way, but with supporting material.

The River Newsletter

The River Nourishes and Guides Us to Help Us Find the Way.

Hello! I am currently a Strategic Advisor at John Deere Financial focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, Leadership, Professional Development, and Organizational Change.

I am a bit of a chameleon in my career. I started as a chemical engineer, then went into factory supervision roles, moved on to sales, customer support, and marketing roles, followed by 4 years leading our precision ag organization. The last 8 years I’ve had various leadership roles in our Finance organization. That’s officially 34 years and I believe my best years are yet ahead of me.

Over the last 5 years I've coached over 100 people to help them navigate their career including beginning, middle, to senior level positions. I'm currently receiving training from the Co-Active Institute for executive coaching skills around asking better questions and improved listening methods. I have also been certified as a NeuroLeadership Coach, and am a member of the International Federation of Coaches and the Institute of Coaching.

I’m a lifelong learner and every year I’m better than I was the previous year because of the people I work with, and for. I’m grateful to work in a company like John Deere whose purpose is so needed in our world today: “We run so life can leap forward.”

A few highlights of my skills, experiences, and interests are:Leadership in Agile Transformation | Digitalization | Guest Speaker at University of Iowa MBA Business School | Lifelong Learner | Leadership Development | Mentoring & Coaching individuals at beginning, middle, and executive stages of their career.

When I’m not involved in the above, I can be found doing my best to raise 3 daughters, publishing a book aimed at helping young professionals lead successful careers and more fulfilling lives (publication fall 2022), fly fishing the rivers of Colorado and Montana, or relaxing on West Okoboji Lake in NW Iowa.

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